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Enchantra

Oh Dear

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Especially on my work computers, I store documents and such on a different drive than the OS is installed, and keep a disk image of the system partition handy, yeah. Back when my laptop was Win98, I was taking a weekly disk image and restoring images about every three weeks.

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Enchantra...

 

1) Install Firefox. Hide MSIE.

 

2) Install Spybot: Search & Destroy. It has a memory-resident program called "TeaTimer" that keeps 90% of spyware from being able to access the registry.

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I use both, and the do compliment eachother. There's some stuff that they miss. I only know this because McAfee catches some adware they don't.

 

There is no way to be completely safe though. No matter how much they try to stay up to date, it's an arms race, where the protection software is trying to react to the malicious software. This means that if you catch something new, then there's no way your protective software could have protected you.

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Oh it only gets worse...

 

Per the advice of the local computer guru here I have disabled ActiveX and Javascripting on IE on Dad's computer. As it was I ran ad-aware SE again and four 14 more spyware files on his computer just from the crap he surfed today. I'm going to be downloading firefox onto his computer when I get a chance.

 

Having him online is also turning out to be a disaster. Me and Mom returned home from work today to find him on the phone with some scam artist selling vacations that he had found online through one of those "flashing" banner ads that tells you that you won something. Me and Mom got mad at him and he stormed out of the house. Then Mom found an empty package from California from some online pharmacy. Turns out through some quick online research by Mom, he ordered some diet drug for himself - and he cannot even take it because it will react with his medications.

 

Is there any way short of cutting his internet access completely that I can keep him from at least submitting his creditcard number electronically online? I know I cannot stop him from picking up the phone and calling phone numbers, but I'm hoping to stop him from spending money him and my Mother do not have. His mind has been going for years now and he doesn't think before he does something anymore.

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I would look into programs like NetNanny, on the thought that they should have ability to block credit card number submissions from mischievious kids...

 

Another thing I would look into, though I've no idea how you'd implement it, is to keep the browser from showing https: pages.

 

Also, when you get Firefox, there should be a way to prevent DoubleClick and similar sites from showing their banner ads at all. I forget where I set that, but I know DoubleClick ads all come up as "could not reach site" error messages -- which is just fine with me.

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You know, I was thinking of Net Nanny. Doesn't a small window open though when someone goes to access a restricted site that says something about the site not being accessible due to Net Nanny? That would surely send the man into freak-out mode. I'll have to look into it.

 

Yeah I'm definitely putting Firefox on his computer which should help. Thanks for the tip, I'll look into the security features on it once it's installed.

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Well tonight the family friend who has been helping me take care of this is coming over for dinner so I'm going to ask him to work his mojo on Dad's computer the best he can. I can do a lot of things on a computer but I do believe I have finally hit the limit of my expertise and it's time for him to take over from here and figure out what should be done. Him and I have chatted over email about the situation so he is going to hopefully do what he can to make things a bit easier for the rest of us who have to deal with Dad's computer usage regularly.

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